Mexico Lays Out Faster Nafta Deal Timeline Than U.S. Signals

BloombergMexico’s chief diplomat said that the nation hopes formal talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement will begin at mid-year and wrap up by December, projecting a more ambitious timetable than the one suggested by Donald Trump’s top commerce official.

Based on conversations with the White House, Mexico is looking to start formal Nafta talks in late June or early July, spend several months working and complete them toward year end, Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray said in Washington after meetings with Trump advisers Thursday. On Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the trade talks will probably begin in the latter part of 2017 and that he hopes they won’t last much longer than a year.

If Nafta talks follow the scenario suggested by Ross, uncertainty over the agreement’s fate will likely hang over the July 2018 presidential election in Mexico, which could fuel economic concern, particularly if it seems the agreement will fall apart. The ruling party of President Enrique Pena Nieto and Videgaray is likely to face pressure and criticism from populist opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has led potential rivals in early polls. Mexican law prevents Pena Nieto from running for re-election.

“I want to be precise, and this is based on the conversations that we’ve had today in the White House: Each of the two countries are carrying out their own processes to be in conditions to start the formal trade dialogue towards the end of June or possibly at the start of July,” Videgaray said in a news conference at the Mexican Embassy. “Mexico will only accept changes to an international agreement, including Nafta, if they benefit Mexico and Mexicans,” he later added. …



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS

WAC Philadelphia: Latin America’s Role in 2017 and Beyond, feat. José R. Cárdenas

Promo for CNN's AC360°: "Passports in the shadows", feat. Roger Noriega

Ambassador Roger Noriega on PBS NewsHour discussing U.S.-Mexico relations under Trump

José Cárdenas Interview with Opinion Journal: "Hungry in Venezuela"

Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’


During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.